1 Thursday, 24th September, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good Morning, Your Honours. Case
6 number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic also know
9 as Vlado.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
11 While we are waiting for the next witness -- are you
12 going to bring him in?
13 MR. TERRIER: We are waiting for a witness
14 who will be protected.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Number 9.
16 MR. TERRIER: Yes.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. I will take
18 advantage of these few seconds to say that this morning
19 I checked again about the seat of Mr. Josipovic, and I
20 can see that he can now see the witness. However, I'm
21 afraid Mr. Zoran Kupreskic -- this has gone to the
22 detriment of Mr. Zoran Kupreskic, because he has no
23 monitor. I spoke to the technicians, and they told me
24 that probably on Friday they will try to fix up
25 everything so that you can follow on a monitor. Yes.
1 Thank you. These are technical problems.
2 They also said, the technicians, that
3 whenever we have voice distortion, there is no
4 alternative to using two channels, six and seven. This
5 would imply that Defence counsel would have to jump
6 from one channel to another. So, therefore, if we can
7 avoid voice distortion, without, however, necessarily
8 having a closed session, because, otherwise, I mean,
9 the whole trial will be in closed session, which will
10 not be very good.
11 What about the next witness? He's getting
12 voice distortion as well? No? No voice distortion,
13 just face distortion and the pseudonym.
14 MR. TERRIER: Yes. Assignment of a
15 pseudonym. This will be Witness S, Mr. President, Your
17 (The witness entered court)
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I will ask you
19 to read the solemn declaration, please.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, you may be
25 Examined by Mr. Terrier.
1 Q. Good morning, Witness S. I am handing you a
2 sheet of paper on which your name appears. Could you
3 please you tell us if this is your name?
4 A. Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit number 207.
6 MR. TERRIER: Your Honours, first of all, I
7 would like to give you a few explanations. This
8 witness has given a number of statements dealing with a
9 great number of events. With the agreement of the
10 witness, his testimony today will be limited to two
11 main areas.
12 First of all, I think that at this stage of
13 the trial it could be useful to give us a general
14 overview of persecution, Count number 1, the offence
15 that was launched on the village. And you will see
16 that this witness will be able to give you a number of
17 very useful informations, information that will be
18 useful also in the near future, and also when you will,
19 yourself, go to Ahmici. Then the second part of his
20 testimony will be dedicated to what he has experienced
21 on April 16, 1993 in Ahmici. These are the two main
22 areas of this witness's testimony.
23 As for the first part of his testimony, I
24 think we can go into open session, no problem. But as
25 far as the second area of his testimony is concerned,
1 and in view of the fact that a number of information
2 that could identify a number of witnesses will be
3 given, I think it will be necessary to go into closed
5 Q. Witness S, the Tribunal has granted the
6 protective measures you had asked for, and in
7 particular, the Tribunal has agreed to the fact that
8 your face will be distorted and also you will be
9 assigned a pseudonym so your name will not be revealed
10 to the public. I have told the Tribunal in the first
11 part of your testimony you will give us a number of
12 informations that will enable us to take a balanced
13 view of what happened on April 16, 1993. During the
14 first part of this testimony we will be in public
15 session, and, therefore, during this first part of your
16 testimony I will ask you not to give any identifying
17 elements which could enable people to identify yourself
18 or other people. But when you will talk about what you
19 have experienced on April 16, 1993, we will go into
20 closed session, and then you will be able to give us
21 more precise information on yourself and the members of
22 your family. Have you understood me?
23 A. (No audible answer)
24 Q. Thank you. Witness S, please tell us how old
25 you are and what was your former job.
1 A. I am now 59 years old. I am retired at the
2 moment, but I used to work as a machine technician and
3 have completed a higher school for that skill.
4 Q. Where were you born, Witness S?
5 A. I was born in the village of Ahmici, in the
6 municipality of Vitez.
7 Q. Have you spent most of your life in Ahmici,
8 the whole of your life there?
9 A. (No audible response)
10 Q. In which district of Ahmici did you live?
11 A. Well, our village was divided into two parts,
12 and I'm now in the so-called Lower Ahmici part.
13 Q. Well, later on we'll see exactly where your
14 house was situated, but right now I would like you to
15 give us the data you have on what happened on April 16,
17 First of all, I would like to specify that
18 you have realised a very important job. You have
19 managed to identify all the families who were living in
20 each and every house in Ahmici. I will hand over to
21 the Judges of this Trial Chamber a file.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit number 208.
23 MR. TERRIER: I would like to specify that
24 this file contains six different items, the first of
25 which is an aerial photograph of Ahmici. And on this
1 photograph we are able to see the location of various
2 houses. The name of the families living in these
3 houses is also specified on the aerial photograph.
4 Mr. Usher, please, could it be possible -- I
5 can't see very well from where I'm standing right now,
6 but could it be possible to put on the easel both
7 photographs, one next to the other? This would allow
8 the witness to look at both these photographs without
9 having to leave his chair, and he will also be able to
10 make a number of comments on these photographs.
11 Your Honours, you might be a bit surprised,
12 but I would like to specify that these photographs
13 appear upside down on the easel. On a number of
14 occasions we had noticed that these aerial photographs
15 are difficult to recognise when we look at it from a --
16 with the other side up. So this is the reason why it
17 has been placed upside down on the easel. It's much
18 more easier for the inhabitants of Ahmici to orientate
19 themselves with this kind of photograph placed in that
21 There is also a chart on the easel, and on
22 this chart we see the locations of the houses of the
23 families who have lost one or several members of a
24 family on April 16, 1993. Of course, I will ask the
25 witness to make a number of comments on this chart, and
1 I was only specifying the items contained in this file
2 I've just handed to Your Honours.
3 There is also a list annexed to this chart, a
4 number of lists. The first list, it specifies the name
5 of the inhabitants of Ahmici. The second list is quite
6 similar, but the names appear in alphabetical order.
7 The third list is a list indicating the name of those
8 inhabitants of Ahmici who were killed on April 16,
9 1993, and the name appears across the page from the
10 name -- from the location of the house they were living
11 in. And the fourth and last list gives us the names of
12 these same people in alphabetical order.
13 Q. Witness S, you have before you the lists that
14 were established. These are the original lists. Is
15 your signature appearing at the bottom of the page of
16 each of these list?
17 A. (No audible response)
18 Q. Could you please tell us why and how you
19 managed to establish those lists?
20 A. After we were expelled from our village, we
21 went towards the town of Zenica. Of course, some
22 people went further off, some people remained near off,
23 but 80 per cent of the people went to Zenica, and we
24 felt the need to set up an association in which we, as
25 the population of Ahmici, would help each other discuss
1 matters as far as was possible. And so we needed a
2 complete record of the inhabitants of Ahmici, where
3 they were living, what their lodging conditions were
4 like, who they had lost in their families, and to have
5 records of all this as to be able to allot aid and
6 assistance we received from the different humanitarian
7 organisations in food supplies, clothing, footwear.
8 And if there were more members to one family, these
9 families would get more supplies, and larger rations
10 and so on, so these records served that particular
11 purpose. I don't know whether there are any more
12 questions on that subject.
13 Q. I do, in fact. After April 16, 1993, you
14 have had frequent contacts with the individuals who
15 used to live in Ahmici; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you meet with these people? Did you
18 organise meetings?
19 A. Yes, if the need arose. We would discuss
20 matters, decide on what to do. Usually we would do
21 this in order to help one another. If somebody had
22 more, they would give that to somebody who had less and
23 so on.
24 Q. As far as the identity of the persons who
25 were killed on April 16, 1993 and as far as the numbers
1 of those killed is concerned, how did you manage to
2 gather the relevant information?
3 A. I have been living in Ahmici since I was
4 born. I grew up in Ahmici, my parents came from
5 Ahmici, and in addition to that, we are all -- we all
6 have family ties, more or less, in the village. We are
7 all related in one way or another. And from my youth I
8 was always chosen to be a member of various boards, or
9 teams or councils. For example, the construction of
10 the waterworks system, the power supply system, the
11 asphalting of roads, when the telephones were
12 introduced and all joint endeavours in the village. I
13 was always a member of one council or another, and,
14 therefore, I got to know where each house was and the
15 families living in those houses, so that it was easy
16 for me to make these records.
17 Q. Witness S, I would like you to take a look at
18 the first chart, the one that is behind you on the
19 easel. Please, you can turn around, but I will ask you
20 not to stand up. Take the pointer, please, and take a
21 look at the first chart, the one situated on the upper
22 part of the easel. Precisely.
23 Can you tell us what the green circles
24 appearing on this chart represent?
25 A. The green circles represent the Bosniak or
1 Muslim houses. They are also marked on this first
2 list. In the first column the numbers are from 1 to N,
3 as many as exist. The second column on the list is the
4 number of inhabitants, the overall number of
5 inhabitants in the village, from 1 to N, that is to say
6 600 or as many as there were. The second column is the
7 surname of the family and the members of the family,
8 their names, their sex, their date of birth, what they
9 were in the family, whether they were a son, a
10 daughter, a husband, a wife and so on. The names of
11 their fathers are listed, where they were born, and so
12 on and so forth.
13 Q. Witness S, can you say that this chart who
14 identifies the various Muslim families who lived in
15 Ahmici before April 16, 1993, can you tell us that this
16 is an exhaustive chart that tells us everything about
17 these families?
18 A. Yes, I can guarantee that it is complete.
19 Q. In the course of this trial we have learned
20 that a number of refugees came to live in Ahmici in
21 1993. The name of these refugees, do they appear on
22 this chart? And on the map, can we see the location of
23 the houses they lived in?
24 A. Very few, because these people that came to
25 us from Foca or other places which had already been
1 under attack, they came to us to find refuge. We took
2 them in, mostly in the weekend cottages. They were
3 lodged there in the weekend cottages of the inhabitants
4 of Zenica. And these weekend cottages were, for the
5 most part, located in this region here, and around
6 here, and we call this the Bare area. And this area is
7 called Donja Krcevine. And I did not take these
8 weekend cottages into account. We did not have full
9 records of them, so we only dealt with our own people.
10 Q. Could you again take the pointer and show us
11 in which area of Ahmici most of these refugees lived?
12 A. Yes. Here, that is the Catholic cemetery,
13 and these are the houses, Ilija Papic's house, there
14 was a group of refugees there, and another group was in
15 this region below Pjanic's house. In this locality
16 there was a weekend cottage area here. There were some
17 lodging with families of locals as well.
18 Q. On that same photograph you have circled a
19 number of houses with a red circle. Can you tell us
20 what they represent?
21 A. These red circles show where our neighbours
22 the Croats lived. We called them the Catholics, but
23 they were Croats. These are the Papic houses, the
24 Kupreskic houses, lower Santici, and the Josipovics
25 lived here, as well as a large settlement in Zume.
1 Q. We'll now go on to study the second aerial
2 photograph, the one situated on the lower part of the
3 easel. On this photograph you have placed a yellow
4 circle around various houses. Can you tell the Judges
5 what it means?
6 A. The yellow circles here denote the houses
7 where somebody was killed, had died. Next to every
8 yellow circle there are one or two lines or numbers,
9 and this meant how many people had been killed from
10 each particular house. It does not mean that the
11 people were killed in the house. Some were killed
12 inside, some outside.
13 Q. There are numbers placed near these houses,
14 that's one thing, but these houses are the same that we
15 see on this first photograph.
16 While making this chart, did you take into
17 account the refugees that were living in Ahmici on
18 April 16th? I believe that certain refugees lost a
19 family member during the attack. Why weren't you able
20 to gather information on this particular aspect of the
22 A. Because new ones would arrive every day. Not
23 literally every day, but they would come frequently,
24 and we did not have time to make a full record of how
25 many of them there were in our village, and then the
1 attack was launched and there was no possibility of
2 doing so after that.
3 Q. I will now ask you to have a look at the two
4 charts which specify the people who were killed on
5 April 16th, 1993. Yes, these two charts.
6 Can you explain how you made this chart? We
7 can see the surname, the first name. What else can we
9 A. Do you mean the composition of the table,
10 what the table includes?
11 Q. Yes, exactly.
12 A. Well, the first column, once again, contains
13 the house number which are marked on the -- the numbers
14 are marked on the map, and that is one family.
15 The second column, from 1 to N, is a list of
16 all those who were killed in the village. In the third
17 column is the surname, the name of the victim, the sex,
18 date of birth, what they were to the family, the name
19 of their father, where they were born, and the date of
21 Q. On this chart, there are 104 names; isn't
22 that right? How many women on this total number?
23 A. In the corner, there are the specifications.
24 There were exactly 32 women.
25 Q. And how many children?
1 A. Eleven children.
2 Q. And by "child," you mean an individual age
3 less than 18 years old?
4 A. That's right. There were babies of three
5 months and children up to the age of 18.
6 Q. Are you able to tell Their Honours how many
7 refugees whose names do not appear on this chart were
8 killed on April 16, 1993?
9 A. According to our records in our association,
10 there were a minimum of eleven, but there is a great
11 probability that there were many more. But we know for
12 sure of eleven people who were killed. We have them in
13 our records.
14 Q. Which means that after the attack of Ahmici,
15 113 people were killed. Among the persons which are in
16 this list, were all those people Muslims?
17 A. 118. Yes, they were.
18 MR. TERRIER: We will now move to the second
19 part of this testimony, and I would therefore ask to
20 move to a closed session.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, of course.
22 (Closed session)
13 Pages 2877 to 2940 redacted - in closed session
1 --- On resuming at 2.02 p.m.
13 pages 2941-2983 redacted closed session
5 --- Recess taken at 3.25 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, we were just
8 informed over the break that our next witness is
9 feeling very ill, feeling as if he's going to throw up,
10 and requests he be allowed to have the night to rest
11 and come back tomorrow morning and testify.
12 He, in fairness to him, did arrive, along
13 with the other two witness that we have scheduled for
14 the remainder of the week, arrived from Bosnia only
15 yesterday evening, and I think are a little weary from
16 the travel and are getting acclimated to the food and
17 new environment. So we would request that we allow him
18 to testify tomorrow, we have no other witnesses here in
19 the building, in fact, we haven't talked to the other
20 two witnesses at this point, and that we begin
22 We fully expect to be able to do all three
23 witnesses tomorrow, and we would strive to do that.
24 If, of course, we are unable to do that, then the
25 situation would be that simply a witness would have to
1 remain a weekend. And since they only arrived
2 yesterday, they will not have been in the area for very
3 long in any event.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. This is something
5 which -- a fact of life. We have to take account of
7 Can you indicate the order in which,
8 tomorrow, you intend to call the witnesses? So first
9 number 12? Number 12?
10 MR. MOSKOWITZ: And then, I believe, number
11 13 and then number 11.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: I see. Which means that if
13 somebody will -- if we have to continue the hearing, it
14 would be -- number 11 will probably go on next week.
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we adjourn now
17 until tomorrow at 9.00. As I said before, tomorrow we
18 intend also, if need be, to go on until 3.00, so that
19 we might finish.
20 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 3:50
21 p.m. to be reconvened on Friday, the
22 25th day of September, 1998 at 9:00 a.m.